A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that caps a tooth and is secured by bonding or cement. Crowns can be used to strengthen teeth, to improve the appearance, and to cover teeth when portions are removed due to decay or physical damage. Crowns may be made of porcelain, ceramic, Zirconia, or porcelain fused metal.
Cosmetic Dentists can use various methods to create crowns. One method involves taking an impression, often in wax, of the teeth. This impression is used to determine the size and structure of the tooth that is to be crowned, the teeth around and above the effected tooth, and the teeth on the opposite side of the mouth. This ensures a good fit for the dental crown and also ensures that the patient’s bite remains consistent with the bite that they had prior to the procedure.
Recent advancements in dental technology have allowed the use of computer aided design to fabricate crowns. This technology often requires less tooth surface area for the bonding and allows for a greater part of the healthy tooth to be retained and used.
The crown process usually takes just two visits to the dentist. One for the design and creation of the crown and one for the actual placement of the crown.
Crowns are most often used for endodontically treated teeth after a root canal. Because root canal therapy removes the blood supply and pulp of a living tooth, the tooth becomes very brittle and would become unable to withstand the forces exerted upon it during chewing. For this reason, the tooth must be protected. A crown is ideal protection for the tremendous forces, often as much as 200 pounds of pressure, that chewing and biting cause.
Crowns may also be used on teeth that are abutments for bridges or partial dentures and for aesthetic reasons. Porcelain veneers are examples of partial coverage crowns that are used to aesthetic reasons. Crowns can also be used to restore support to worn teeth, and to correct chewing problems.
The longevity of a crown is often greater than ten years. With proper care a crown can last for the lifetime of the patient, over 50 years in may cases. Whether used in the treatment of root canals, for worn or damaged teeth, or for aesthetic reasons, crowns are an important part of a beautiful smile.